I LOVE Law and Order. I'm not sure how long I've been watching this show, but it's been a long time. Not the whole run because we didn't have cable when I was a kid, but I'm pretty sure that through watching the reruns on A&E I've seen almost every episode. And Epatha Merkerson has been in almost every one.
According to reports, the 17 year veteran and all-around awesome lady is leaving after this season. Sure, the show has made it through the departures of a bundle of talents, but this woman's absence could crash the show. The current storyline certainly leads into her character dying off, but I just don't want it to be true. If the show goes on, it certainly won't be the same.
*sniff* R.I.P. Lt. Van Buren.